Endowed with all the virgin resources and many industries to explore, Africa has the opportunity to become a global powerhouse in the next 20 years. However, in order to tap into this opportunity Africa will need to leverage the power of its youth

Youth unemployment is a major issue challenging a sustainable growth of the African economies as well as the very future of the African youth. In Ghana, there are about 53 universities and polytechnics producing about 250,000 graduates per year to fill the job market. However, only about 20 % of them are able to secure a permanent job after school. Most of them has no other option than to become part of the informal sector, enter into small sole proprietorships or join the armed forces in order to make a living. Those less privileged ends up on the street engaging in illicit acts such as sex trade, robbery and scamming. The government seems to be doing its best to resolve this issue but it has turned into a “white elephant”.

Government, despite its good intentions, seems to be doing more damage than heal. By employing Chinese engineers and other foreign experts to build most of the infrastructures, the well- qualified Ghanaian engineers are forced to do take small jobs for which they are overqualified. W e shall ask ourselves, why the Gov’t still calls for foreign aid to solve unemployment issues.

Ironically, in the newly developed oil industry in western region of Ghana, a local content law was passed to make the oil industry employ 90% of its labor with local talent but in reality it is only on paper not in practice. Chinese are taking over African economies;  they already own many of the wholesale and retail business in the country.

If this is case then, what is the real impact of African GDP growth in the African people. A time may even come where  African will be made to study Chinese as a major subject in school if care is not taking and right measures are not put in place. Not that learning Chinese would be a problem in itself, but definitively the African youth has already a lot to eat before. No wonder some musicians are even named with names such as kweku chinese” and “kofi korea”

I strongly believe and wish something can be done to resolve this issue by our political leaders realizing and promoting ‘made in Africa’ products and also, patronizing our own trained expertise. Not to even talk of calling on our brothers and sisters in the diaspora with their acquired expertise from the western world. But this is a matter for another post.

Emmanuel Acquah


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